PBS Selects RespondTV to Build and Support Enhanced TV Content in Select Markets
Agreement Enables PBS Viewers to Join their Local PBS Station, Interact with Program Sponsors, and Purchase Educational Products Through their Television
San Francisco, Calif. (November 20, 2000) - Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and RespondTV, the leading infrastructure and application service provider for interactive TV content, today announced an agreement that names RespondTV as a PBS preferred enhanced TV provider. As such, RespondTV will support and develop walled gardens (a "walled garden" is an enclosed Web-like environment formatted for television viewing), and program synchronous enhanced broadcast applications for participating PBS member stations, program sponsors, and educational products. In addition, RespondTV will become a member of PBS's Technology Alliance Partner Program.
Program synchronous enhanced broadcast applications and walled garden content, enabled by the RespondTV infrastructure, will allow PBS viewers in select markets to interact with enhancements over Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) compliant and other Interactive TV environments. PBS and RespondTV will work together to ensure the compatibility of enhancements across platforms and network operators.
RespondTV and PBS, along with participating PBS member stations, will test eTV applications that enable viewers to instantly support their local public television station, without program interruptions, by using their TV remote control or set-top keyboard to become local station members. RespondTV will also work with PBS underwriters in the development of sponsorship enhancements that take into account the unique non-commercial, educational mission of public television, and deliver to viewers and sponsors useful, on-demand interaction and information. Select program-related educational material and products, such as videos and DVDs, games, books, and program transcripts, will be offered to viewers via the walled garden as well as in interactive enhancements during programming.
RespondTV technology makes it possible for television programmers and sponsors to develop a single enhancement that can be aired across multiple platforms. PBS will use RespondTV's infrastructure and services to host, serve and report on the sponsorship, membership and product offerings that are aired via walled garden and program synchronous enhanced broadcasts by participating stations.
"PBS chose RespondTV because we believe it offers a robust enhanced TV solution, and understands the unique role of public television for the American family," said Cindy Johanson, senior vice president of PBS Interactive. "Our agreement with RespondTV integrates fully with PBS's local/national interactive TV offerings, and reflects our commitment to open standards by providing enhanced programming through ATVEF-enabled set top boxes."
"As PBS embraces new technologies in its delivery of television programming, it is important they work with an infrastructure provider that can work across all platforms and handle a huge response volume," said Richard Fisher, RespondTV president. "RespondTV's services provide a strong local/national solution that can scale for tailored, targeted local programming, which will be a real asset to PBS and its member stations within local markets."
RespondTV has over 50 partner deals with network operators, programmers, advertisers, producers, platform developers and tools providers. The company has aired enhanced programming and advertising for leading companies such as the Ad Council, American Airlines, Bloomberg Television, CDNOW, Coca-Cola Domino's Pizza, Condenet's Epicurious.com, Ford, HGTV, Ralston Purina, Sears, United Television and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.
About PBS - PBS.org
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.
RespondTV, named one of the top-ten interactive TV companies by CableWorld Magazine (July 3, 2000), is the leading infrastructure and application service provider for interactive TV content. The company offers programmers, network operators and advertisers the most comprehensive enhanced TV services available today that support enhanced broadcast and TV portals. Services range from serving, hosting, reporting, targeting and direct response applications to e-wallets and shopping carts.
RespondTV has built a robust state-of-the-art server network that can handle television-sized audiences. RespondTV is compatible with most major standards-based enhanced TV systems and set-top boxes, including AOLTV, Liberate, Microsoft, OpenTV, PowerTV, WebTV and WorldGate.
RespondTV is backed by equity investments from: AT&T Corp., Comcast, GE Capital, Integrity Partners, Liberty Digital Inc., Sequoia Partners, Showtime Networks, Tribune Ventures and United Television. Additional information on RespondTV, Inc. can be found online at www.respondtv.com.
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Edelman for RespondTV